Social Media Policy

Introduction

This document sets forth Wentworth Institute of Technology’s policy on the use of social media for Wentworth business purposes. This policy applies to all employees who manage or post content to a Wentworth social media account. A Wentworth social media account is one that the Office of Communications has approved and registered.

The Institute respects your right to interact knowledgeably and socially, however, interaction with social media can greatly impact you, our colleagues, and our students. Therefore, the entire Wentworth community has a responsibility to maintain the integrity of the institution no matter where, when, or how they interact with social media.

The term “social media” is defined as anything pertaining to networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), blogs (online journals), podcasts (multimedia distributed online), video-sharing sites (YouTube, Vimeo), photo-sharing sites (Instagram, Flickr), and file-sharing apps (Snapchat). Social media accounts within all Wentworth colleges, divisions, and departments must abide by this policy.

The Office of Communications is responsible for the enforcement of this policy and any future changes. The Office can serve as a resource when community members are seeking to launch a Wentworth social media account. Please refer to Wentworth Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices for further information concerning expectations for Wentworth accounts.

Policy

It is the policy of Wentworth Institute of Technology that all social media accounts be registered with and approved by the Office of Communications.  Only registered and approved social media accounts will be recognized as representing the Institute. Wentworth Institute of Technology social media accounts must be managed by an authorized Wentworth employee.  No department, office, or team will be permitted to establish a social media account that purports to represent a Wentworth department, office or team without receiving approval of the account from the Office of Communications.

Registration

Only Wentworth social media accounts may represent Wentworth. Any department-, office-, or team-related accounts managed by a Wentworth employee must be registered.

To register a Wentworth social media account, contact the Office of Communications at editor@wit.edu. The office will review the application with the communications team and notify the applicant of their decision. You must specify the name and Wentworth job title of the assigned manager/owner of the account while registering. You should also contact editor@wit.edu if you have questions concerning whether your particular account or platform is considered social media. A list of accounts approved and registered is housed on the Wentworth website.

Wentworth Institute of Technology is not responsible for parody or rogue accounts, or any accounts that are not registered as Wentworth social media accounts. Social media account managers must adhere to the policies within this document and will be held accountable for the content posted through their accounts.

The Office of Communications reserves the right to take appropriate action if misconduct is shown, including the termination of an account and/or removal from the list of accounts. Wentworth reserves the right to take action against rogue accounts and/or those persons or entities creating or controlling them. Failure to comply can result in disciplinary action.

Responsibility

Wentworth community members managing and/or posting on Wentworth social media accounts must adhere to the rules in this policy.

Incorporation of Wentworth Policies

Existing legal responsibilities and Institute policies apply and are incorporated into this policy when Wentworth community members manage or post to social media accounts.

There may be legal consequences for any posts that violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), or any other state or federal laws involving rights to private and/or confidential information.

Please refer to the following policies:

Wentworth social media accounts cannot be used to promote any commercial enterprises. Community members with administrative access to Wentworth social media accounts should not directly or indirectly (through family members or friends) profit through any Wentworth social media account.

A Wentworth social media account is for Wentworth business purposes only. Refrain from posting content, or liking, or following posts or accounts that reflect your own personal beliefs. Wentworth is a 501(c)(3) organization under Federal law and must comply with federal rules and regulations related to political activities.

The Institute will not tolerate content that infringes on proprietary information, or that is defamatory, pornographic, harassing, libelous, or inhospitable to a reasonable work environment.

Management

Social media account managers and those community members authorized to post content or edit an account must adhere to Wentworth’s brand guidelines.

It is the responsibility of all colleges, divisions, and departments with social media accounts to actively monitor their social media accounts for content, accuracy, and compliance with this policy.

Crisis Communications

In times of campus emergency, the @WITNews account on Twitter will post updates. The Wentworth homepage will feature major announcements, and Public Safety RAVE alerts will be sent through text messages and email. Users can sign up for RAVE alerts online.

In times of an active emergency/crisis on campus, refrain from posting original content on your Wentworth accounts and follow the lead of @WITNews on Twitter. Posts from that account, and only that account, may be shared/reposted during this time.

If a comment or post directed at a Wentworth social media account seems to indicate an emergency situation (threats against individuals or campus safety, implications of self-harm or suicide, threats of violence), contact the Office of Public Safety immediately at 617-989-4444.

Media

Social media posts may generate interest from the press (print, television, radio, online). If you are contacted in any way by a member of the media about an Institute-related posting, you are required to immediately contact the director of public and media relations at pr@wit.edu or 617-989-4291.

Accessibility

Within the limits of a social media platform, make every effort to make your content accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, make sure that accessibility options are enabled on any social media platform that has already made provisions for them.

Read more about Wentworth’s accessibility policy.

Terms of Service

All social media companies require users to agree to respective terms of service.

Wentworth social media accounts must follow the terms of service established by each social media company.

Enforcement

The Office of Communications is responsible for the enforcement of this policy and any further changes. The Office of Communications reserves the right to take appropriate action for violations of this policy, including the termination of an account and/or removal from the list of Wentworth accounts. Discipline up to and including termination is possible for violations of Wentworth policies through the use of Wentworth social media accounts.

Protected Activity

Nothing in this policy should be read to restrict your ability to engage in concerted, protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act with your fellow employees regarding your wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of your employment. Wentworth encourages employees to use established processes, and direct complaints or concerns about their job or working environment to supervisors, local or university administrators, and human resource officers. This policy is not intended to govern or restrict personal presence on the web, or to abridge or otherwise restrict principles of academic freedom.

Questions

If you have any questions about these policies, please contact editor@wit.edu and refer to our Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices for Wentworth accounts.